Hunx & His Punks

Too Young To Be in Love

For many years, indie rockers have acted as if nothing existed before the heyday of Nirvana and the experimentalism of post-rock. Until recently, the sounds of the Fifties and Sixties had been consigned to the dustbin of history; it was if The Beatles and Rolling Stones had never existed. Oakland bad boy Hunx, former sex god of the dance happy band Gravy Train!!!!, is currently resurrecting sounds of the Fifties and Sixties with his new album, a record drenched in the girl-group sound of New York and Philadelphia. A gay man fronting a rowdy looking all-woman quartet and singing about kissing boys probably isn’t a recipe for mainstream success, but the music the Punx make is irresistibly upbeat, infused with a naive innocence that’s refreshing in these cynical times. Most of the songs have obvious templates from the Brill Building era, but that’s part of their low-fi charm. “Lover’s Lane” is an over-the-top bit of pop drama with yearning doo-wop harmonies sweetening a simple R&B turnaround. The tragic lyric brings to mind the broken-hearted laments of “Teen Angel” and “Leader of the Pack.” “The Curse of Being Young” is a tear-drenched duet that plumbs the depths of unrequited teenage passion; Hunx pours out his tortured soul while the Punx moan in the background. The slashing guitar work of Michelle Santamaria accents tunes like “Bad Boy” and the proto-surf of “Can We Get Together?” with a blistering energy that reminds us that it’s 2011, despite the album’s otherwise classic feel. (Hardly Art)


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